Budget deficit narrows in March

By Anna Leah Gonzales

April 24, 2024, 7:30 pm

MANILA – The national government's budget deficit narrowed to PHP195.9 billion in March this year from PHP210.3 billion a year ago, data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) released on Wednesday showed.

The BTr said the lower budget gap during the month was on the back of 11.32 percent year-over-year revenue growth vis-à-vis a 3.18-percent increase in government spending.

Revenue collections amounted to PHP287.9 billion, up from the PHP258.7 billion in March 2023, despite the slight decline in tax revenues primarily attributed to the contraction in Bureau of Customs collections due to fewer working days in the month due to holidays.

Expenditures, on the other hand, rose to PHP483.8 billion from PHP468.9 billion in 2023.

"While higher disbursements were recorded in agencies, the growth of spending in March was weighed down by the lower subsidies to government corporations and transfers to local government units (LGUs), in particular the special shares of LGUs in the proceeds of national taxes," the BTr said.

"The transfer of the P15.0-billion Coco Levy Funds to the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund for this year is still expected this April; whereas last year’s release was made in March," it added.

For the first quarter of the year, the budget deficit settled at PHP272.6 billion.

Year-to-date revenue collections amounted to PHP933.7 billion, while government expenditures amounted to PHP1.2 trillion.

The government incurs a budget deficit when spending exceeds its revenues. (PNA)